• The Pacific 2019 tradeshow took place at Sydney’s ICC.
    The Pacific 2019 tradeshow took place at Sydney’s ICC. AMDA

The Pacific 2019 tradeshow took place at the International Convention Centre in Sydney’s Darling Harbour this week, attracting delegates and companies from across the globe to see the latest maritime technologies on display.

The ministerial releases came thick and fast. Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price launched the Navy Industry Engagement Strategy alongside Chief of Navy Michael Noonan on Tuesday morning. The Strategy aims to help Navy work more closely with industry on capability needs.

“My vision is for Navy, industry and academia to become better partners that focus on transformational relationships and shared awareness to enable the best possible outcomes for Australia,” Vice Admiral Noonan said.

The Naval Shipbuilding College, ASC and the Australian subsidiaries of Naval Group, BAE Systems, Luerssen, Saab and Lockheed Martin also announced their Industry Strategic Workforce Plan, which will complement the government’s forthcoming skilled naval workforce strategy.

Chief Executive of the Naval Shipbuilding College Ian Irving said it details the national Naval Shipbuilding Enterprise’s pledge to work together to develop and retain a skilled workforce.

“Industry recognises it is stronger and will be more successful when operating collaboratively, in terms of workforce development in Australia,” Irving said.

“It is very much a case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. All the companies involved have skin in the game and are committed to working cooperatively to create a sovereign, naval shipbuilding workforce capability for Australia for generations to come.”

Minister Price also announced that Sonartech Atlas, an SME based in Macquarie Park, has been awarded a $1 million contract through the Defence Innovation Hub to develop a mobile software system capable of analysing contemporary communications transmissions in the maritime environment.

Sypaq was another Innovation Hub winner, securing $3.5 million develop a small Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) with a hybrid power delivery system and the capacity to operate in harsh environmental conditions, such as those at sea.

“If successful, this UAS would be capable of operating from ships at sea and performing a range of surveillance and reconnaissance operations,” Minister Price said.

Other news items included an agreement for Raytheon to provide engineering and logistics services in support of upgrades to RAN’s surface ship combat systems for up to six years, Boomeranger Boats winning a contract to supply 41 sea boats for the Arafura class OPVs, and Naval Group’s launch of a new local subsidiary, Naval Group Pacific.

Distinct from the Adelaide-based Naval Group Australia, which is wholly dedicated to the Australian Future Submarine Program, Naval Group Pacific will focus on ‘strengthening Australia’s broader defence capabilities’ through sales, program management and sustainment of the Naval Group’s existing portfolio. The Sydney-based subsidiary will have responsibility for Naval Group business development activities in Australia and NZ.

In-depth coverage of Pacific 2019 will be available in the forthcoming December/January edition of ADM.

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